Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Brief History of the Universe

Below is my understanding of the first 6 days of the Universe starting from the big bang. My understanding is based upon peer-reviewed science and traditional biblical commentary published by noted M.I.T Physicist and Theologian Gerald R. Schroeder in his great book “The Science of God.”

It begins with the concepts that Albert Einstein published around 1904 in which he said that Matter can be made from Energy, and that the flow of time is not a constant. Or, time is relative based upon the position of the observer.

It is with the relative time concept that I am fascinated with as it begins to explain one of life’s greatest questions…”Is the Earth Six days old, or Billions of years old?” And the answer based upon peer-reviewed science by Professor Schroeder is….”Yes!” It all depends upon your point of reference.

Time is relative, and once we define some timeframes we will discuss the mathematical concepts behind his answer:

The following definitions and charts are adapted, (not quoted), from Dr. Schroeder’s Book “The Science of God.”

Cosmic Days – This is based upon the first day of the big bang looking forward in time with each cosmic day being relative in that each cosmic day gets shorter based upon the Cosmic Background Radiation, (CBR), temperature.

Cosmic Earth Years – This is the number of Earth years that are passing as the Universe is forming.

Earth Days – This is based upon the first day on Earth looking backward in time using our current 24-hour clock.

Adam Years – The number of earth years before Adam, based upon the current 24-hour clock.

Click Chart to Enlarge:
The timeframes are based upon the cooling of the Universe. At the time of the big bang the temperature of the Universe was it’s hottest and it has been cooling ever since. The current temperature of space is 2.73 degrees Kelvin, approximately 270 degrees Celsius.

The age of the Universe has been revised upward constantly and in 2003 it was revised once again. From…“In a study published today in the journal Science, a team of researchers says the universe is between 11.2 billion and 20 billion years old.
Most estimates in recent years have ranged between 10 billion and 15 billion years. Last year, data supplied by the Hubble Space Telescope led to an apparently refined estimate of 13 billion to 14 billion years.”

Some estimates are made using visual readings such as through a telescope, they are sometimes called “red-shift”, or “blue-shift” depending upon the method, and then others using math and the C.B.R. as Dr. Schroeder has done.

What is even more interesting to me is how the authors of the Bible “guessed 100% correctly” on how evolution progressed through these Cosmic Days of Creation. (They couldn't have known, they must have guessed, right?)

For example, the bible says water occurred before any life, and that the first living creatures were in the water, next reptiles and then winged animals, then humans. I wonder if Darwin and others looked at the sequence in the Bible to figure out the sequence of Evolution? (tongue in cheek) See the next chart below
: (Click Chart to Enlarge:)

The above is presented as something to contemplate. I know there will be some who will take it as some kind of affront to their worldview and summarily dismiss it, and probably attack it as well, but that is to be expected since one of the laws of the Universe is that there needs to be opposites so we will be able to have choice.

Now whether God had a hand in fine tuning Evolution, such as "sprinking" some new life forms from time-to-time, such as the "Cambrian Explosion", well that is for another post.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hitchens vs. Religion

Christopher Hitchens is a brilliant man. In most areas he is a clear thinker and has a mind like that of Michael Medved in that he seems to have thousands of facts at his instant recall. But, he has at least one giant logic flaw in his new best seller “god is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.”

The biggest flaw in his logic is the assumption that because many people do bad things in the name of Religion that we therefore can paint with a broad brush that Religion is to blame. It is almost as bad as those illogical thinkers who profess that "poverty" is the cause of crimes. people don't commit crimes? How ridiculous! The rich also have their own challenges they must conquer. Morals are not a function of how much money you have.

What a horribly flawed statement Hitchens makes! It is like saying that people don’t have anything to do with what they perpetuate, it is the madness behind their thoughts that is to blame. The murderer is not to blame for his acts, it was the beers he drank, or the flawed childhood is to blame. No, we all have bad influences in our life and we still have to choose as to how we react to our challenges. How we respond to adversity is what defines us more than anything! When the “going gets tough, the tough get going.” But the choice is there to be made.

PEOPLE ACT THE WAY THEY ACT BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT REALLY MAKES THEM HAPPY! - FAR. If they don't like the way they are acting, they have the capacity to change. When I smoked, I liked smoking more than I liked to not smoke, even though I told myself that I didn't like the fact that I smoked. I was lying to myself! I wanted to smoke more than I wanted to quit! PERIOD!

The Devil doesn’t MAKE people do IT! God doesn’t make them do IT! They choose to do it because that is what animates them to “feel good!” To have purpose.

Let’s assume for a moment that his silly premise is on the right track. What if we could blame a particular type of thinking on the actions of men, (and women), for evil acts? I would then propose that it would be two things and possibly three that are above Religion on the "reason ladder."

First, and foremost, is "FORCE" and particularly when coupled with the drive to try to create a man made utopia on earth is at the 20,000 foot level, which is above Religion.

FORCE is evil, FREEDOM is good!

Mao, Pole Pot, Hitler, Stalin, the "people" running the Inquisition, the "people" trying to "force" Shira, the idea of any type of heaven on earth that is “forced” upon mankind is the driving ideology behind most evil, not religion. It is the men with their goals of making others better through their ideology instead of by doing it one person at a time….starting with themselves. Those who want to use their “idea” of a better world, by “forcing” it on others is the key to evil, whether it be Socialsm, Communism or Shria.

Second, the idea that a group is a victim of society as a whole, or a victim at the hands of some other group is the next big driving force behind evil acts.

The feeling of being a victim of some other group can “justify” all kinds of immoral acts as it is a way of having their “justice”, or by getting “even”, as they suppose.

And finally, it is "Rationalizations." If my memory of my study of human psychology is still in tact, the mind of a person who lives in his left hemisphere creates a reason to “rationalize” all acts.

The mind has three hemispheres, a right hemisphere that always tells the truth without a worldview filter based upon facts it has amassed. A left hemisphere that always says that your heart is always right, and the middle hemisphere that gathers information from the other two hemispheres to make a final decision.

Many people want to listen to the side that says, “if your heart says it is good, then it must be so!” This is the emotional side of the mind, that ALWAYS says your heart is right, and the other hemisphere is the “logical” side of the mind.

If you believe in God and Satan, then you can understand the statement that "Satan doesn't ALWAYS lie. If he did, he would be easy to discover. He tells us that both Good and Bad are alright. He says "Everything is alright!" Which makes him right in many cases.

More people do evil by listening to the emotional side and then “rationalizing” rather than listening to the “logical” side.

There you have it. Hitchens, you are so filled with your “emotional” dislike for Religion that you are listening to the wrong side of your mind and therefore your logic on this point is greatly flawed!

God has nothing to do with what “some” people do in the name of their ideology, whether it be “Socialism, Communism, Nazism, or any religion-ism, i.e., Catholism, etc. It is all about their methods of “imposing” their view on others. There are good Atheists, good Baptists, good Catholics, good Muslims, good Methodists, good Buddhists, etc., and there are bad ones as well. Their Religions/Ism's teachings stand on their own. It is the flawed humans that are the problem.

Since 90 percent of the planet believes in God, it is only natural that much evil is done by those who believe in God. It is not their belief in Religion that animates them, it is their belief in “forcing” their “better world” on humanity that drives them, which includes many Socialists, Communists, Secularists, etc.

God’s main theme for those who truly study him is the concept of “Free Will.” This has been stated by most religious people in the saying of “God will force no man to heaven.”

This is why God seldom directly interferes in our existence. The religious say that he is “all powerful”, but yet he doesn’t “force” us all to obey his commandments. He leaves it up to us to figure what is truly "right."

Religion is not flawed. People are flawed, and since they are, they cannot make a utopian world no matter how much they try to “force” it, (Socialism, Communism, Religion, etc,) on others.

Confrontation or Cowardness

Let’s suppose you live in a city where there is the rule of law, but a gang of thugs overruns a neighboring city and they are threatening to spread to your city next.

What should your city do?

1. Do nothing. Who cares about the other city?
2. Send in your police to help. It is the proper thing to do, and we want to stop them before they grow big enough to harm us.

Those are really the only two choices…do nothing or do something.

The real problem is the other city has no real rule of law, and how do you handle lawlessness? The problem is not that your city is an “Imperial City” because it wants to do something to help stabilize the lawlessness.

How do you handle a bully?

If you ignore him because you are “against violence, (or war)”, then you are just allowing the bully to continue his acts of violence against others and he only will get stronger.

If you confront him and try to stop him in order to bring stability to his area of control of lawlessness, then that is the only thing that will help the situation.

People who say we should “stop the war” are really being naïve, since they are thinking that by “running away” from the lawlessness, they are “stopping” it.

By ignoring or not confronting a bully, especially when he is in your area, you become a coward and the bully grows stronger.

When I was in High School I was “picked on” by a bully. He only stopped “picking on me” when I confronted him and had a fight with him. After that he not only stopped bullying me, but he left my friends alone as well.

Again only the naïve believe in pacifism when there is lawlessness next door, and they look like cowards when they do it.

It is easy to be a pacifist when there is a proper “rule of law” in your area, but what do you do if you begin to have lawlessness in your area? Hide? Bury your head in the sand and hope it goes away?